Alumni Jacquelynn and Bennett Dorrance have made a gift commitment of $5.4 million to endow the deanship of the University of Arizona College of Humanities in support of efforts to integrate traditional and cutting-edge approaches into humanities teaching and learning.

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Dorrance Dean’s Award for Research & Entrepreneurialism

The Dorrance Dean’s Award for Research & Entrepreneurialism (DARE) recognizes faculty members in the College of Humanities whose work is groundbreaking, and that dramatically demonstrates new ways of thinking in, through, and with the humanities. The future-focused DARE Program encourages research-oriented initiatives that are fantastic yet achievable, and that build on past failures and successes to imagine new approaches to improving our increasingly galactically aware planet.

Applications to the DARE Program should:

  • Be inspiring and evidence-based;
  • Be fearless about possible failure because even failure will generate new knowledge;
  • Have a strong humanities element even if the project is transdisciplinary;
  • Lead to deliverables that extend the reach and reputation of the College of Humanities well beyond the academy;
  • Position the applicant(s) to develop external funding requests at levels greater than $50,000;
  • Provide COH students opportunities to participate as engaged researchers and/or entrepreneurs.

Here are some sample concepts that, if fleshed out well, might make competitive DARE Program applications:

  • Create a college-wide required internship program that is fully integrated into every academic unit in COH, and is designed to be at least revenue-neutral for the College;
  • Develop a curated, searchable international database of applied humanities projects that allows faculty, staff, and students to connect with and participate in projects anywhere in the world;
  • Collaborate with machine learning specialists to design software that can autonomously track the development of ideas over time by mining electronic texts, social media, and other forms of digitalia;
  • Design a VR environment that allows users to experience important contextual scenarios that are key to understanding a range of humanities experiences (e.g., an accurate depiction of a medieval London, Rome, Cádiz, Smolensk, or Paris street; a real-time walking journey between Tenochtitlan and Tetzcoco);
  • Establish a COH program that trains humanities researchers to use the tools of economists (e.g., opportunity cost, game theory, nominal rigidity) in order to understand changes in language and culture;
  • Develop an easy-to-use anti-plagiarism platform that uses blockchain technology to protect humanities research (i.e., an NFT/Ethereum-based IP security system);
  • Work with UArizona’s Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) program and the College of Medicine to establish a Health Humanities Masterclass designed to help third-year medical students hone their human interaction skills;
  • Design and launch a 1U CubeSat in collaboration with the Kenya Space Agency that broadcasts messages of peace over the surface of Earth in 100 different languages.

The possibilities are endless.


One award of up to $20,000 will be awarded during Academic Year 2023-2024. Award funds may be used for UArizona-related research and outreach expenditures allowable by University and University of Arizona Foundation policy. (See below for examples of allowable and non-allowable expenditures.)

Who is eligible to apply?

All COH faculty and staff who have not received a DARE award in the last three years are eligible to apply.

Selection Criteria

Proposals that demonstrate strength in one or more of the following will likely be particularly competitive:

  • ​Potential for creating new knowledge or creative expression that will bring national or international recognition to the College;
  • Significance of the project to enhance the core values, vision, and strategic plan of the College and the Fearless Inquiries Project;
  • Potential for the project to forge connections between the College and local, regional, and national communities and partners;
  • Clarity and reasonableness of the narrative, procedures, timeline, line-item budget, and budget justification;
  • Potential for the project to receive external funding (including angel funding);
  • Extent to which the project is evidence-based (e.g., projections are based on data; record of applicant’s past successes);
  • Potential of the project to generate unique and monetizable IP;
  • Potential of the project to make the world a better place in a measurable way;
  • Basis of the project involves seizing a rare and temporary opportunity;
  • Project’s potential to strengthen COH’s efforts to recruit outstanding students and faculty;
  • Likelihood of there being useful deliverables and/or by-products regardless of the project’s specified outcomes.

What Kinds of Expenses Are Eligible for Support?

Though not an exhaustive list, DARE Program funding may be used for the following:

  • Summer salary or other types of supplemental compensation for faculty;
  • Funding for graduate or undergraduate students—working on behalf of the applicant—to conduct research and/or produce content for the project;
  • Expenses for travel to conferences, archives, academic institutions, libraries, etc. (local, national, and international);
  • Guest speakers or consultants brought to campus;
  • Hosting research-oriented symposia and other such events;
  • Books, special equipment, software, and other materials necessary for the project;
  • Publication subventions;
  • Consultants needed for their specialized skills (e.g., statisticians, programmers, welders; graphic designers; videographers, mechanics);
  • Event planning & hosting (e.g., catering, tent rental);
  • Special equipment access fees (e.g., scanning electron and atomic force microscopes; HPC/HTC time);
  • Data processing and data mining expenses (e.g., Mechanical Turk, citizen humanities networks, NetOwl);
  • Sabbatical replacement funds (full academic year sabbaticals only).

What Kinds of Expenses are Ineligible for Support?

Due to limited resources, the following activities are not supported. Please consult your unit’s business manager with questions.

  • Purchase of non-specialized office equipment such as standard computers, printers, scanners, and cameras;
  • Events or projects that have already been completed or that lack sufficient lead time.

Application Process

Please be prepared to submit the following:

  1. Project Title
  2. Project Abstract (maximum 50 words).
  3. Project Description (maximum 750 words). Please be mindful that projects that are described in a compelling manner and that make clear how the proposal fits the DARE Program concept are likely to be especially competitive;
  4. Budget Justification (maximum 250 words). It is important that you work with your unit’s business manager to develop your proposal’s budget. The budget justification should explain the necessity of each item. In addition, please list any other potential or pending sources of funding and indicate the status of those applications/requests. Please refer to the budget section of the application for additional details;
  5. A detailed and realistic line-item budget (maximum 1 page). Similar to your budget justification, please work with your unit’s business manager and refer to the budget section of the application for additional details;
  6. The applicant’s CV that highlights efforts applicable to the proposal;
  7. A cover sheet that includes the signature of your unit’s Head/Director indicating full endorsement of the project, including any proposed course releases, departmentally located initiatives, new courses, or matching funds, etc., that are mentioned in the proposal.

    Download Application & Budget Instructions

    Questions about the DARE Program or the application process can be directed to Associate Dean Ken McAllister (


    Applications will be due on Monday, October 16, 2023 at 4:30 p.m. and should be submitted as a single pdf to The file name must be in the format “DARE_2023_[Yourlastname_Yourfirstname].”


    Awardees will be notified approximately five weeks after the deadline. Grants funds must be used within one calendar year from the date of notification.

    Awardee Obligations

    Recipients of grants will be expected to:

    • Use grant funds within one calendar year from the date of notification;
    • Clearly identify the Dorrance Dean’s Award for Research & Entrepreneurialism Program as a funding source on any resulting publications, presentations, patents, plans, and other project progeny;
    • File a brief report on the outcome of the project within 60 days of the project’s completion. The report should include an Abstract (150-word maximum), a Description of Outcomes (250-word maximum), and a Next Steps section (100-word maximum);
    • Attend—and present your project at—a future Dorrance Fearless Inquiries Project event;
    • Allow their abstracts to be used for COH marketing purposes.